Young builder Walid Durani fled to the UK at only fourteen years old. This, was after a traumatic event which led to his mother hurriedly packing him off on a plane to Heathrow, to ensure his safety.
It was in 2012, that Walid’s life was threatened. His grandfather, had already been killed and his body dumped by the Taliban. Attached to his head, was a note which claimed that the eldest male within the family would soon face similar consequences. Walid’s father had been kidnapped six months previously. So therefore, Walid was the oldest male. His life was in grave danger as the Taliban stipulated the family must stop providing oil and electricity to the American Military.
Therefore, to escape this fate, fourteen year old Walid made his way to England, seeking asylum. Unfortunately, he was rejected. Due to his age though, he was granted access into the UK. From there, he began to learn English and go to school, making friends along the way.
One of friends, happened to be the son of a local construction company owner. It was there, that Walid was taken on as an apprentice and trained to become a bricklayer. Walid didn’t just turn up and get the job done though. Instead, he excelled with dedication and determination towards his job. His hard work even landed him a nomination for the 2016 Young Builder of the Year award!
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However, now Walid is facing a big problem. He is eighteen, and can no longer stay in the country. His asylum applications have been regularly denied by the Home Office as he cannot provide documentation to prove that his grandfather was killed and his life threatened. Walid describes: “the police are so corrupt in Afghanistan that I can’t get any documents without paying a substantial bribe.”
“Besides, death certificates don’t really exist there. The country is too chaotic.”
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“I have no one left in Afghanistan.”
“My family has all escaped to Austria, but I can’t join them because I don’t have a passport.”
So now, with his final appeal rejected, Walid is facing deportation. And with his family gone, he is also facing the prospect of living on the streets!
To help Walid stay in the country and avoid this fate, simply sign the petition here. At 10,000 signatures, the government will be required to respond!
So what do you think of Walid’s story? Do you know of anything similar? Let us know in the comments below.